Jul 21, 2014

It goes without saying that people and relationships are the most important things in our human existence. Without them we are but stick figures, dimensionless, solitary. Like you, my family and friends are precious. And maybe like you, I also derive tremendous satisfaction from being out in nature, and particularly in my fledgeling garden.

My garden (though it struggles against the elements, deer, slugs and powdery mildew) brings me a great deal of happiness. There's something about getting my hands in the dirt or finding a frog under a leaf (always scaring the pants off me) that soothes my soul.

It's also the ultimate act of optimism. After all, each season is full of disappointment. The aphids that attacked, the tough little radishes that never grew succulent hips, the chipmunks who feasted on all and anything I attempted to start from seed. And yet each spring I dream of armloads of flowers and hope to get sick of zucchini as I peruse little seed packets, pile a wobbly cart full of six-packs of annuals and gallon containers of perennials. I persevere.

This year, in the hopes of establishing a few perennial gardens, I planted some roses. I was late out of the gate. Lowe's had some rather sad looking bare root specimens and I'd heard that they are a popular deer appetizer. Undaunted I dug my rocky soil and plunked them in. I was rewarded.

Maybe my love of gardening is connected to my love of painting. My paintings usually begin with some grand vision and a healthy dose of trepidation. Like my garden, there are risks and danger around every corner. If I'm lucky, I am rewarded with something I can be proud of.

This time I hit the daily double. My roses thrive (and have so far evaded our furry friends) and my newest painting stands as proof. Happiness.

Painting: New Roses © Lissa Banks 2014